Lord, Teach Us to Pray - A Panel Discussion
Series: Lord, Teach Us To Pray
Panel Discussion – Nov 13, 2011
Introduction – I want to welcome you to a special morning in our series on prayer. I want to highlight a few unique elements and then introduce some wonderful people who you will have the privilege to hear from this morning as they share what God has been teaching them about prayer. Let me say a few words to set the tone for us this morning. The first is a word to those of you who like a very linear, text-rich expositional teaching style. This is going to be a rough morning for you because our discussion will be multi-voiced and it will be far ranging. But stick with us because we’ll been praying already this morning that God would speak to you in powerful & practical ways.
Speaking of practical, you likely noticed when you came in some tables and activities around the rear of the room. I want to give you a preview of where we are headed so that you can begin to think about which prayer response station you would like to move to at the end of our panel discussion. One of the things that happens in a church family like ours is that unless you are directly connected with Kids @ the Ridge in some way as a volunteer, once the kids leave at 10:50 AM and head off, you have no idea what happens to them. So we wanted to capture some of the elements that make Kids @ The Ridge such a special and unique place and bring them here for all of us to experience and play around with this morning. So you’ll note that we have an activity insert – it’s for the kids, but if you want to do the maze, go right ahead! There are prayer panel activities and questions for you kids and then later, you’ll be leading us in some of the response stations that you participate in regularly so think of your favorite one and be ready to walk us to it & through it later.
Perhaps one of the best ways to think about this morning is as a prayer lab. A laboratory is a place where you get to go and experiment with stuff – to try new things, to push the boundaries of your knowledge and experiences. To play around with stuff and try developing new combinations. And so my hope and prayer for you today is that you learn one or two new skills or habits that will enrich and enhance your communication and relationship with God. To that end, we have a wonderful group of people who have graciously agreed to join me on the stage and share from their own lives and experiences about what God has been showing them as they have been asking “Lord, Teach Us to Pray”. I’m going to introduce them to you and then we’re going to dive right in. I’ll keep the conversation flowing with some guiding questions but I want you to hear their hearts and I want you to listen for God to speak to you through what they have to say this morning. RU Ready?
Lindsey Schacter – draw your attention to the insert in your Info Sheet. She works with Global Aid Network, the humanitarian and development arm of P2C. Married to Tyler. Mon. service group.
Kara – Her and her husband Howard are currently training for long term work in a limited access country in Asia. Kara hails from Washington & has two young boys.
Fen Dorozio – resident Senior Saint JRCC & Langley Sr’s Village. Fen has been a teaching Elder at various Gospel Halls in the lowermainland & Calgary & __ kids, grandkids, great grandkids
Jacqueline Pasko – JR prayer coordinator with husband Dave. Fantastic heart for intercession.
Ruth Ellen Crossley – K@TR. She is a dancer & artist, fantastic team member & leader. (Jared)
Brian Kerr – new dad to , husband to Roz. Heads up the admissions department at TWU.
- 1. Many of us have this idea of prayer is something deeply complicated & confusing. We think that if we are not experts, we shouldn’t even begin to wade into the shallow end of the pool. Can prayer be simple or does it have to be 60 minutes, on my knees, eyes closed, head bowed? What does prayer look like for you?
- a. Jackie – praying regularly throughout the day (idea: set your phone to beep or remind you to pray)
- b. Lindsey – Picture talking to a good friend in a chair (prayer as a conversation). This is the idea of “Abba Father”. (prayer is a tool for your growth)
- c. Kara – prayer can be very simple. We can learn from our kids (story: a simple cry for help). Anyone can hear from and talk to God – not just prayer experts
- d. Fen – short of breath, lying in bed. Pictured gathering up my family in a sheet and presenting them to God.
- 2. That kind of word picture is found in many of the prayers throughout the Scripture. Peter in Acts goes up on the roof to pray and God gives him a picture of a sheet filled with animals as a metaphor for the mission to all of the nations. So talk to us for a few minutes about the role of my imagination or pictures in prayer?
- a. Ruth Ellen – How do I know if it’s God or just my subconscious at work?
- b. Kara – Reading about others or watching videos can help. We begin to picturing ourselves in situations that the global church finds themselves in (persecuted church). For example, if I’m a mom, I ask God to help me feel what those mom’s might feel. If I was in their situation, what would I pray? (Then I just pray that for them). Holy imagination becomes a tool for prayer
- 3. If prayer is a dialogue, how does God speak to us in prayer?
- a. Brian – God speaks to us through circumstances (story of the Children’s bible).
- b. Jackie - Other people. Parents, pay attention to your kids (Story: God brought Steph to Jackie’s daughter’s mind to pray for safety – almost in car accident)
- c. Brad - The role of being still (we’ll explore this more next weekend) – one of my favorite questions to ask is “does my life look like that of a person who wants to hear from God?”).
- d. Listening to promptings – Anyone to jump in with an example(s)
- e. Jackie – Learning to hear & distinguish the voice of God before crisis / panic
- 4. What are ways that we can speak to God?
- a. Lindsey – “Prayers of frustration” – God can take it! (Psalms)
- b. Ruth Ellen – Sometimes, you can pray without words (Exodus 6:5; Job 3:24 talk about prayers as groans too deep for words)
i. Can I pray in other ways other than eyes closed, head bowed, and words? (Transition into Worship Dance as an example of this).
Thank you for that. I wonder if some of our prayers that come from places of pain don’t get expressed because we somehow feel that we have it all together or all cleaned up in order to come to God in prayer.
- 5. When you are in or have been in a crisis, how does this shape your prayer life?
- a. Brian’s experiences with cancer
- b. Jackie & Dave’s experience losing their son - never felt God’s presence so near
- c. Kara - The prayers of martyrs and others don’t seem so focused on themselves as ours do in North America.
- d. Fen’s thoughts on how you pray differently at age 86 than age 26
- 6. So how should we pray (and NOT pray) for people who are in crisis?
- a. Brian - Don’t pray that it would be over quickly. (The path is important as opposed to simply just the “destination”)
- b. Pray for perseverance as opposed for God to take it away (Paul’s thorn)
- c. Ruth Ellen – You read the prayers of the martyrs. They didn’t pray for safety. The prayed for their families and that they would not shame the gospel.
- 7. How can I pray for the world – that seems like a daunting task!
- a. Lindsey – Pray with global eyes (Haiti, Panama – when you travel, you learn their practices of prayer that challenge our own. Our view of ‘normal’ prayer is pretty tame versus the Koreans who are up early every day).
- b. Practical prayers are very valid – safety, monkeys to disappear for Steph J
- c. Ask God to give you a burden for a specific nation / area / people group
- d. Examples of praying for a specific country (Operation World – you get an e-mail every day with info about the country
- e. Kara - As long term workers in restricted access countries, what kinds of prayers do you want to receive or not receive?
- f. Ruth Ellen to give Prayer station example – Globe
- 8. What are some areas you are still wrestling with / growing in prayer?
- a. Praying for the lost – how do you persist in this? (esp. without making people into ‘projects’). Pray specifically for scales to the gospel to be removed.
- b. Praying for family members
- 9. Are there some prayers that are dangerous to pray?
- a. Stretch me: God may just take you up on it & put you in stretching situations!
- b. Prayer as an act of surrender and trust – you never know where it will take u!
- c. Use the Scriptures – God has told us what to pray for (i.e. labourers 4 harvest)
Transition into explaining prayer stations (Ruth Ellen and Brad)